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What the 2021 NHL Playoffs bracket looks like as the regular season comes to an end

The Stanley Cup Playoffs start soon. We break down how the bracket is looking.

A view of the ice and the Stanley Cup Final logo and the player sticks and gloves after the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Dallas Stars in game six of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place. Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Second round playoff bracket

The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs are just around the corner. The specific start date for the NHL playoffs is still being determined due to COVID-19 delays, but we know it will likely start sometime around May 19. In the meantime, the divisions are wrapping up regular season play and settling the bracket for the postseason.

This year’s playoffs will feature a unique scheduling plan due to the coronavirus. Teams were realigned into four divisions because the league needed a Canada-only division due to quarantine issues up north. The top four teams in each division earn a playoff berth and the first two rounds of the playoffs will consist of intra-division play. One series will feature the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds, and another will feature the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. The winners of those series will face off, with that winner then advancing to the Stanley Cup semifinals. The semifinals will feature re-sorting of seeds based on regular season record

The playoff bracket is starting to come into focus. The first division settled is the Central, although the 2/3 matchup still needs to figure out who gets home ice advantage. As of May 11, three division champs have been crowned and the Vegas Golden Knights are likely to claim the fourth.

Here’s a look at how the bracket is shaking out for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHL playoff bracket by first round divisional matchups (as of May 13)

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators

Monday, May 17, 8 p.m.: Predators @ Hurricanes | CNBC, SNE, TVAS
Wednesday, May 19, 8 p.m.: Predators @ Hurricanes | CNBC, FX-CA, TVAS
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Predators | USA, FXX-CA, TVAS
Sunday, May 23, TBD: Hurricanes @ Predators | TBD
*Tuesday, May 25, TBD: Predators @ Hurricanes | TBD
*Thursday, May 27, TBD: Hurricanes @ Predators | TBD
*Saturday, May 29, TBD: Predators @ Hurricanes | TBD

No. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

Sunday, May 16, 7:30 p.m.: Lightning @ Panthers | NBCSN, SN, TVAS
Tuesday, May 18, 8 p.m.: Lightning @ Panthers | CNBC, SNE, TVAS
Thursday, May 20, 6:30 p.m.: Panthers @ Lightning | USA, FX-CA, TVAS
Saturday, May 22, 12:30 p.m.: Panthers @ Lightning | CNBC, SN, TVAS
*Monday, May 24, TBD: Lightning @ Panthers | TBD
*Wednesday, May 26, TBD: Panthers @ Lightning | TBD
*Friday, May 28, TBD: Lightning @ Panthers | TBD

East Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 New York Islanders

Sunday, May 16, 12 p.m.: Islanders @ Penguins | NBC, SN, TVAS
Tuesday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.: Islanders @ Penguins | NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS
Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m.: Penguins @ Islanders | NBCSN, SN360, TVAS
Saturday, May 22, 3 p.m.: Penguins @ Islanders | NBC, SN, TVAS
*Monday, May 24, TBD: Islanders @ Penguins | TBD
*Wednesday, May 26, TBD: Penguins @ Islanders | TBD
*Friday, May 28, TBD: Islanders @ Penguins | TBD

No. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 Boston Bruins

Saturday, May 15, 7:15 p.m.: Bruins @ Capitals | NBC, SN, CBC, TVAS
Monday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.: Bruins @ Capitals | NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS
Wednesday, May 19, 6:30 p.m.: Capitals @ Bruins | NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SN360, TVAS
Friday, May 21, 6:30 p.m.: Capitals @ Bruins | NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SN360, TVAS
*Sunday, May 23, TBD: Bruins @ Capitals | TBD
*Tuesday, May 25, TBD: Capitals @ Bruins | TBD
*Thursday, May 27, TBD: Bruins @ Capitals | TBD

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens

Thursday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.: Canadiens @ Maple Leafs | NHLN, SN, CBC, TVAS
Saturday, May 22, 7 p.m.: Canadiens @ Maple Leafs | CNBC, SN, CBC, TVAS
Monday, May 24, TBD: Maple Leafs @ Canadiens | TBD
Tuesday, May 25, TBD: Maple Leafs @ Canadiens | TBD
*Thursday, May 27, TBD: Canadiens @ Maple Leafs | TBD
*Saturday, May 29, TBD: Maple Leafs @ Canadiens | TBD
*Monday, May 31, TBD: Canadiens @ Maple Leafs | TBD

No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

Wednesday, May 19, 9 p.m.: Jets @ Oilers | NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS
Friday, May 21, 9 p.m.: Jets @ Oilers | NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS
Sunday, May 23, TBD: Oilers @ Jets | TBD
Monday, May 24, TBD: Oilers @ Jets | TBD
*Wednesday, May 26, TBD: Jets @ Oilers | TBD
*Friday, May 28, TBD: Oilers @ Jets | TBD
*Sunday, May 30, TBD: Jets @ Oilers | TBD

West Division

No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues

Monday, May 17, 10 p.m.: Blues @ Avalanche | NBCSN, SN1, TVAS
Wednesday, May 19, 10:30 p.m.: Blues @ Avalanche | CNBC, SN360, TVAS
Friday, May 21, 9:30 p.m.: Avalanche@ Blues | USA, SN360, TVAS
Sunday, May 23, TBD: Avalanche @ Blues | TBD
*Tuesday, May 25, TBD: Blues @ Avalanche | TBD
*Thursday, May 27, TBD: Avalanche @ Blues | TBD
*Saturday, May 29, TBD: Blues @ Avalanche | TBD

No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild

Sunday, May 16, 3 p.m.: Wild @ Golden Knights | NBC, SN, TVAS
Tuesday, May 18, 10 p.m.: Wild @ Golden Knights | NBCSN, SN360, TVAS
Thursday, May 20, 9:30 p.m.: Golden Knights @ Wild | NBCSN, SN360, TVAS
Saturday, May 22, 8 p.m.: Golden Knights @ Wild | NBC, SN360, TVAS
*Monday, May 24, TBD: Wild @ Golden Knights | TBD
*Wednesday, May 26, TBD: Golden Knights @ Wild | TBD
*Friday, May 28, TBD: Wild @ Golden Knights | TBD